4 NFL FanDuel Stacks for Week 16
Stacks are usually the backbone of the best FanDuel lineups, especially in tournaments. Brandon Gdula's piece examining hit rates and correlation for stacks is a must-read article whether you're already familiar with stacking or new to the concept.
This piece will lay out my favorite weekly stacks. So, read on to see the stacks I'm firing up this week.
Patrick Mahomes ($9,200), Travis Kelce ($8,600) and D.K. Metcalf ($8,000)
This one dings the wallet, but there's so much upside this stack.
The Kansas City Chiefs are hosting the Seattle Seahawks in a game with a slate-leading 48.5-point total. While it's fair to be a little concerned that Kansas City is a huge 10.0-point favorite, the Chiefs have been the league's worst team against the spread, so I think the 'Hawks can keep it close. And weather doesn't appear to be as big of a concern for this game as it is for some others.
I don't need to sell you too hard to Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes. Kelce leads the Chiefs in both target share (23%) and air yards share (23%), and he's scored 12 touchdowns this season. Mahomes has thrown for at least 320 yards in eight of his previous nine games. He's also run for at least 23 yards in five of the past seven games.
With Tyler Lockett out, D.K. Metcalf is the logical bring-back piece from the Seattle side. He's notched at least eight targets in five straight contests, and KC is giving up the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to wideouts (30.4), including the most touchdowns (19).
If you need to save a little salary, Kenneth Walker III ($6,900) could be your Seattle piece instead of DK. Walker got five targets last week, so a negative game script won't wipe him out, and KC ranks slightly worse than the league average in run defense by our metrics.
Justin Fields ($7,800) and Stefon Diggs ($8,700)
Let's get this out of the way -- the weather in Chicago looks miserable. Windy, rainy and cold. Yay. But I still want pieces from this game, especially if it looks like the weather will scare away the masses.
There are a few ways to stack this game, and while the winds will probably make passing tough, both of these signal-callers can get it done on the ground. I listed Justin Fields above, but Josh Allen ($9,500) is obviously a high-upside play, too. He's our model's number-one quarterback on the slate.
But the chance to nab Fields at this salary and at possibly depressed popularity is too much to pass up.
Fields is averaging 21.50 FanDuel points per game for the season, and he's passed for an average of 157.5 yards per game. Over the last five games, he's averaging 115.2 rushing yards per week with five total rushing tuds.
He can have a huge fantasy day without doing much damage through the air, so I'm not as worried about the weather for him. Heck, the weather combined with the Chicago Bears being an 8.5-point dog could lead to more running for Fields (run-heavy game plan at the start and then scrambles on drop backs when they go into catch-up mode).
Stefon Diggs hasn't popped for a true ceiling game in a while. He could do it on Saturday. Chicago ranks fifth-worst against the pass, per our metrics.
I'm totally cool with using Fields without another Bears player, but if you want to pair him with someone, Cole Kmet ($5,100) is the best bet. He's seen a 24% target share and 20% air yards share over the last three games. Both of those are team-high marks.
Kirk Cousins ($7,700), Justin Jefferson ($9,300) and Darius Slayton ($6,300)
This stack doesn't break the bank, and the New York Giants-Minnesota Vikings game checks a lot of boxes. The 47.5-point total is tied for the slate's second-highest, and with this game in Minnesota, there are zero weather issues.
Between matchups and weather problems, we might not see a massive performance at quarterback on this slate. That makes using someone like Kirk Cousins plenty viable. We project Cousins for 18.3 FanDuel points, the fourth-most at the position, and he can have success against a Giants defense that ranks eighth-worst by our schedule-adjusted metrics.
If you're using Cousins, you might as well find the coin for Justin Jefferson. He has a 29% target share and 39% air yards share, and he has scored 24.3 and 27.8 FanDuel points in back-to-back weeks. Jefferson's profile lacks nothing.
The Vikes have been great for game stacks all year because their defense -- especially the secondary -- isn't good. They check in sixth-worst versus the pass by our numbers and have permitted the third-most FanDuel points per game to wideouts (33.1).
Darius Slayton owns a 19% target share and a whopping 41% air yards share across the past four weeks. The air yards share gives him a clear path to upside, and the salary is easy to like, too.
And don't sleep on Richie James ($5,200) as a low-salary dart. He's a viable bring-back piece who offers $1,100 in savings from Slayton.
Gardner Minshew ($6,100), A.J. Brown ($8,500) and Tony Pollard ($7,700)
The Philadelphia Eagles have been a run-funnel defense all year, ranking seventh-worst versus the run and fourth-best against the pass, according to our numbers. When you add that to the fact that the Dallas Cowboys are 5.5-point favorites, the Cowboys' ground game should be busy.
Tony Pollard is stuck in close to a 50/50 timeshare with Ezekiel Elliott ($7,400), with each playing between 49% and 58% of the snaps in the last two games. That's annoying, and it brings both into play -- but I want Pollard for the big-play upside. Pollard has nine runs of 20-plus yards this season, the third-most among all players. Zeke has only four.
If we're banking on a positive game script and a lot of runs for Dallas, the Eagles' passing game correlates well with that.
Gardner Minshew could faceplant in a difficult road matchup. The salary is extremely handy, though, and the volume could be there if the Eagles, who are 5.5-point 'dogs, have to chase the game. He offers a little something with his legs, too, averaging 17.2 rushing yards per game for his career. We project him as the best point-per-dollar play at quarterback.
A.J. Brown has been a monster in his first year in Philly, racking up a 28% target share and 40% air yards share. The efficiency will likely suffer without Jalen Hurts, but we've barely seen Brown in a negative game script this season. If we get that on Saturday, it could help offset the loss of his star quarterback. And the Dallas Cowboys' D can be had through the air as they are giving up the seventh-most FanDuel points per game to receivers (29.9).